When Dr. Chris LeSar founded the Vascular Institute of Chattanooga (VIC) in 2015, he was guided by a core philosophy: “find a better way.” A pioneer of minimally invasive surgical techniques for amputation prevention, LeSar was committed to offering outpatient services with incomparable convenience, value and innovation while continuing his legacy of delivering unsurpassed outcomes for patients with critical limb ischemia. This meant implementing cutting-edge tools, technologies and processes, one recent addition being an artificially intelligent (AI) assistant from Saykara that automates clinical charting.
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Dr. Chris LeSar, a pioneer of minimally invasive surgical techniques for amputation prevention, is among the early adopters of artificial intelligence for producing and recording encounter notes. His medical practice, the Vascular Institute of Chattanooga, is using technology from Saykara. (Photo: Business Wire)
The AI assistant, known as Kara, has significantly reduced the labor-intensive process of producing encounter notes and the manual entry of data to patients’ electronic medical records. This in turn has helped ensure that documentation needed to expedite the coordination of care is completed in a timely, accurate and comprehensive manner. With fewer hours consumed by clinical charting, Kara has also played a role in allowing the nurse practitioners central to VIC’s care delivery model to substantially increase the number of daily visits without sacrificing the amount of time spent face to face with patients. With demand for VIC’s services ever increasing and the recent addition of a third location, this was a strategic imperative.
“I knew that I wanted to fundamentally change how vascular care is delivered, so I turned to Accountable Physician Advisors and Accountable Revenue Cycle Solutions, led by Teri Yates, to help me launch VIC,” LeSar explained. “Although we achieved profitability very quickly and were able to maximize efficiency in most every operational area of the practice, Teri recognized that our KPIs involving clinical documentation were in need of improvement. She recommended we adopt the Saykara technology, and the impact has been extremely positive.”
A recent survey conducted by Accountable Physician Advisors showed that among nurse practitioners using the Kara AI assistant at VIC, 100% say it results in fewer hours each day to create documentation, less overall time to finalize encounter notes and is better than other clinical charting methods.
“It is a great privilege for Accountable Physician Advisors and Accountable Revenue Cycle Solutions to work with Dr. LeSar and his staff,” Yates said. “VIC’s growth trajectory over these past five years has been phenomenal, which put a lot of pressure on the providers to complete their clinical documentation during evening and weekend hours. We knew we needed to “find a better way,” and I immediately thought of Saykara. The promise of an AI-powered assistant that eliminates much of the manual effort seemed like an ideal solution for VIC, and it has proven to be just that.”
Since helping with the initial VIC launch, Yates and her team have been focused on workflow and revenue cycle optimization, using a data-driven approach to process improvement. The Kara AI assistant has become an integral component to efficiency and productivity gains, and has contributed to nurse practitioner satisfaction and work-life balance.
“There is a serious shortage of vascular surgeons in the U.S. The care delivery model Dr. LeSar has built, which utilizes nurse practitioners performing at the top of their license, showcases how it’s possible to meet the expanding needs of our communities,” Yates said. “Solutions like the Saykara technology have the potential to ensure patients receive adequate and timely access to high quality vascular care by reducing the time it takes for providers to complete the requisite clinical documentation. By using the Kara AI assistant, VIC is ensuring that its providers can focus their attention directly on the patient.”
Saykara has developed a platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret conversations between physicians and patients, transform salient content into clinical notes, orders, referrals and more, then populate both structured and narrative data directly to electronic health record systems. This is accomplished through a voice-enabled assistant named Kara that physicians access via a mobile app. The platform is specialty agnostic, scalable across any size enterprise and available with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription. It has been proven to completely eliminate after-hours charting, reduce overall time spent charting by up to 70%, and enhance documentation quality and completeness by an average of 20%. Plus, with no need for computer data entry during visits, it gives physicians more face time with their patients and fosters more personalized interactions. For additional information, visit www.saykara.com.
About Vascular Institute of Chattanooga
The Vascular Institute of Chattanooga is a specialized medical-surgical practice dedicated to the care of patients suffering with limb-threatening vascular disease and the prevention of amputation. Our team-based approach to treating peripheral arterial disease (PAD) increases patient quality of life and amputation-free survival through expedited patient evaluations and ultrasound testing, appropriate wound care services, and minimally invasive endovascular treatment to restore blood flow. Leveraging multiple locations and telehealth technology, the Vascular Institute is helping patients throughout the Southeastern Tennessee and North Georgia region declare “VICtory Over Amputation.” For additional information, visit www.vascularinstituteofchattanooga.com.
About Accountable Physician Advisors and Accountable Revenue Cycle Solutions
Accountable Physician Advisors is a healthcare consulting firm focused on enabling the delivery of exceptional medical and surgical care in lower-cost, high quality ambulatory settings. We accomplish this by empowering the physicians that ultimately direct the care of patients to thrive in their independent medical practice and participate as owners and developers of ambulatory care facilities that provide outpatient surgery and procedures in a safe and cost-effective setting. For additional information, visit www.accountablephysicianadvisors.com. Accountable Revenue Cycle Solutions provides comprehensive medical billing services for independent physician practices in the surgical specialties and ambulatory surgery centers. For additional information, visit www.accountablerevcycle.com.